- The active ingredient in alcoholic drinks is ethyl alcohol
- a depressant.
- Alcohol multiplies the depressant effect of sedatives. Taken
with sleeping pills or tranquilizers, alcohol can kill you.
- Alcohol abuse is drinking so much that you become drunk.
- Alcoholism is an addiction to alcohol. An alcoholic craves
- There are 4 types of alcoholic beverages
- Beer: Contains 3-6% alcohol.
- Wine: Contains 12-14% alcohol.
- Fortified wine (e.g., sherry, port): Has alcohol added and
contains 18-20% alcohol.
- Liquor: (for example, Scotch, rum, bourbon, vodka): Contains
40-50% alcohol, which is expressed as degrees of proof. A liquor's
alcohol content is half its proof. Therefore, an 80-proof liquor
is 40% alcohol.
- Unlike food, alcohol does not need to be digested.
- It is absorbed directly into the bloodstream in the small
intestine and the stomach.
- Through the bloodstream, alcohol reaches every organ and
tissue of the body, slowing the activity of the cells.
- Your body processes alcohol at the rate of approximately
1/4 to 1/2 ounce (the alcohol in 12 oz. of beer or 5 oz. of wine)
- The liver processes the greatest portion, and the remainder
is excreted by the kidneys, lungs, and sweat glands.
- As many as 70% of Americans drink alcohol socially, mostly
during meals and social occasions. These drinkers seldom, if
ever, get drunk.
- The majority of alcohol abusers are beer drinkers. Just because
you don't drink the "hard stuff" doesn't mean you're
not abusing alcohol.
- If you can't handle life without drinking, you may be an
alcoholic - even if all you drink is beer.
- Most people can take an occasional drink and never become
- Some fall into a pattern of drinking just to make it through
- Others get drunk at certain times of the day or week, or
only on weekends.
- Others stay drunk all the time.
- Binge drinking (having more than 5 drinks at one sitting)
is common with high school and college students.
- Binge drinking floods the body with more alcohol than it
can safely handle until it starts to shut down body functions,
including the heart and lungs.
- Respiratory failure, coma and death can result from too much
alcohol taken too quickly.
- Binge drinking can kill you the first time you do it.
- Abusing alcohol is not cool, manly, tough, or smart. It
Return to Alcohol menu
Division of Student Affairs, Baruch College, CUNY